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Depth-of-Field >

16.4 - Sensor Size

In addition to lens opening and how close you are to your subject, the size of the sensor affects depth-of-field.

Most digital cameras have more depth-of-field than 35mm film cameras.

Digital SLRs

Most digital SLR cameras have sensors that are smaller than 35mm film.

Therefore, they have more depth-of-field than film cameras.

When using f/8 with a digital SLR, there's more depth-of-field than when you use f/8 with a 35mm film camera.


You can't blur backgrounds as much with digital SLRs.


But more is in focus when doing close-up (macro) photography.

Point-and-shoot Cameras

If you use a point-and-shoot camera, you can ignore the discussion about depth-of-field.

Your camera has a sensor that's very small.

Therefore, your camera has lots of depth-of-field—even at wide lens openings.

Having lots of depth-of-field is both good and bad.

The Good

The #1 complaint of photographers is unsharp photographs.

With lots of depth-of-field, your photographs will be sharp.

This is especially useful when doing close-up (macro) photography, where there is less depth-of-field because you're close to the subject.

The Bad

You're less able to blur the background behind the subject.

Why Does Sensor Size

Affect Depth-of-field?

Go to 4 - Depth-of-field & Sensor Size.